Ric O’Barry is the director of SaveJapanDolphins.org, which was created in order to put an end to the Japanese slaughter of dolphins and stop the capture and live trade of dolphins to zoos and aquariums around the world. In the film The Cove, a team of activists and filmmakers infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this village they witness and document activities which are intentionally being hidden from the public: More than 20,000 dolphins are being slaughtered each year and their meat, which contains toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often labeled as whale meat. Most people are not aware this is happening, since cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story.
To dolphins, a pool is a cage. The mortality rates and abnormal behaviours of captive dolphins demonstrates that a lack of stimulation causes them intense stress. Many dolphins do not survive the trauma of capture. Captive dolphins also suffer and die from intestinal disease, stress-related illness and chlorine poisoning. Visitors don’t always realise that. Instead of visiting a marine mammal attraction, try a responsible dolphin watching boat tour and enjoy the sighting of wild dolphins at sea.
They were not born to entertain us!